I am sure you have heard this phrase “We were on a break!” before, perhaps from a sitcom by the name of Friends? If you haven’t let me explain. * Spoilers Ahead* In the television show Friends, two of the main characters Ross and Rachel have a complicated relationship, to say the least. They were in love with one another at different points in time, and when they finally got into a relationship one thing always seemed to go wrong. In one of the final arguments, Rachel decides to go on a break with Ross. They both had different concepts of a break, and this is how “We were on a break!” was born.
The concept of going on a break often gets a bad rap. This is because in the media or even couples that you know that go on breaks can oftentimes be toxic. When I say this, Ross and Rachel may come to mind or someone else you know. Everyone has different opinions on if breaks are healthy or beneficial for a romantic relationship. I am here to tell you that breaks can be beneficial depending on your situation.
Two people can have one of the healthiest mature relationships, and sometimes life gets in the way. When going on a break, people tend to blame one person, either for calling the break or being the one impacted by it. A break is about both people in the relationship. The reasons for going on a breaking change from relationship to relationship. Here are some reasons someone may want to call a break in their relationship:
- A person needs space to sort out their feelings towards their significant other.
- A person needs to realize what they want in their future and needs time to figure it out on their own.
- A person needs to realize what kind of relationship they have and what kind of relationship they want.
- Overall, a person needs to see if a relationship is worth fighting for.
All these reasons are perfectly normal to think when entering a break. It can be scary jumping into the unknown and not knowing what is going to come out on the other end; however, it is necessary. When deciding to go on a break and not speaking to the person you shared every moment with, people have the thought “now what?” When you ask yourself this, it is time for the next step.
“If you don’t understand yourself how can you expect someone else to understand you?”
The next step is self-reflection. If you don’t understand yourself how you can expect someone else to understand you. After you complete this step of understanding yourself as an individual, reflection on the relationship is needed. This is easier said than done. The last thing that you want to think about on the break is the relationship at hand. You may want to go out with friends constantly and distract yourself for the duration of the break because it just hurts too much. Distracting yourself is just going to waste the precious time that you have to deeply process the relationship.
I see many articles that talk about how to cope during a breakup, although I rarely see articles about how to navigate your emotions during a break and take an active role in your reflection. Breaks can be equally emotionally, physically, and mentally draining as break-ups if not more. The reason being is that you are in the complete dark of what is going to happen next, while during a breakup you have the closure that the relationship has ended. So, for all of you out there that are currently going through something similar, know that you are not alone. To get through this tough time, I have a couple of tips.
- Be cautious of the type of information you seek out during your breakup. Advice from outside sources can be helpful or detrimental to your relationship. No internet source or person knows your relationship like you do. In the end, it is your life. Do what feels best.
- Listen to family and friends that have your best interest at heart. Be open to their opinions but remind yourself that they are seeing it from an outside perspective.
- Spend time with yourself! As I stated earlier in this article, this is an important time to self-reflect. It will help your future relationships, whether your future entails the person you are on a break with or someone else.
- Journaling is another form of self-reflection. This can help to sort out your thoughts and get to the root of what you are feeling.
- Take care of yourself through this process. This can be hard when dealing with a stressful period. Even if you feel like you want to curl up in a ball, you must remember that you need to help yourself. Make sure to eat, exercise, and socialize.
I hope that everyone reading this can take away something. Whether that be knowing that the emotions you are experiencing are normal, knowing you are not alone, finding new ways to interpret your feelings, or being able to help someone else that you know. Breaks are hard; however, what comes out on the other side will be worth it in the end.